As Language Coordinator at the Netherlands Inter-community School (NIS), parents often asked me about our programs and how they could help their child at home. While I was always happy to meet and discuss, I felt like I had so much information to give that it might be difficult for parents to remember everything suggested. So I decided to create a series of Language Brochures, 8 in total that related to the following topics, and each topic addressed both Early Years and Primary Years:
Not only were these brochures helpful to me, but they were also helpful for classroom teachers to give parents who had language related questions.
TIPS FOR CREATING BROCHURES:
A) Brochure Templates: Enlist help from your IT department in creating your brochure’s design, or use online brochure templates. Microsoft Office and Canva have lots of free templates to choose from, and colours can be customized.
B) Student Photos: Check your school’s policy on using student photos in your brochures. It was against our school’s policy, so photos used in our brochures came from royalty free image sites. Sites like Pixabay will let you use their royalty free images at no charge. Your school may also have a subscription with a site like istockphoto where you can get images.
C) School Logo: Be sure to include your school’s logo in the design.
D) Colour Choice: Choose colours that are appealing and catch the eye - especially if the brochures will be displayed in your school’s office.
E) Planning: Map out topics you would like to cover before you start writing – that way you can plan how many brochures you need and what information should be included in each.
F) Bullet Points: Use bullet points as much as possible to condense information provided. I originally wrote everything in paragraphs, but then realized that the information wasn’t going to fit on the templates. Brochures have limited space.
G) Font and Font Size: Play around with font and font size. I used Calibri, but Arial, Times New Roman and Garamond are also easy to read and print out well. Font sizes of 10pt or 12pt are recommended. Play around and print a few samples at school to see which font you like best. Ask colleagues for their opinion.
H) School Vision: It is a good idea to include your school’s belief, philosophy, mission statements, aims and values in brochures.
I) Vary Brochures: Create a variety of brochures that describe programs offered in general – for example, a brochure about your MFL department, and some offering tips for parents to help their child at home. Brochures explaining your programs are great for parents who are shopping for a school and want to know more about what the school is offering, and brochures offering tips are great for parents of children who are already at the school and are looking for advice.
J) Parent Tip Brochures: When designing brochures that offer tips for parents, such as ways to help children with reading and writing, it is a good idea include the following:
K) Organization: To make brochures easy to use, try to organize each one in a similar order.
L) Division of Information: Divide information given by level – for example we had both Early and Primary Years programs. Descriptions of curriculums, how subject areas were taught in the classroom and tips for parents were all divided accordingly within each brochure. I chose to include information about Early and Primary Years in a single brochure to simplify things for parents with multiple children across different grade levels.
M) Proofreading: Ask colleagues to help with proofreading – the more the better to ensure that brochures are error-free before printing.
N) Printing: Shop around for the best price, and have the company print out a few samples, if possible. Sometimes the files you send do not look the way you thought they would in print: colors don’t look as you thought they would, text appears off center or misaligned etc... Also ask for samples using different types of paper – paper thickness, glossy vs matte can all affect the way your final product turns out.
O) Online Versions: Consider having online downloadable copies of your brochures on your school website available. Parents then have the option to save brochures on their computers and print them at home if they lose the hard copies provided. Also, working parents may not be at school often enough to notice/collect brochures at school.
Have you created brochures at your school? Are there any tips you would like to share?